Injured worker invents smokehouse safety solution
Aug. 10, 2017
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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The innovation was designed to make moving smokehouse carts safer.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ill. – An unfortunate injury to an employee of Deli Star Corp. has resulted in an innovation to ensure the future safety of meat processing operators responsible for handling smokehouse carts. Designed to prevent hand injuries including smashing or pinching that can occur when operators grip the sides of smokehouse carts, the PushPal is available from Fusion Tech Integrated, Roseville, Illinois, as a solution focused on worker safety without compromising product quality. Brett Hanvey, production supervisor at Deli Star, designed PushPal after being sidelined with a hand injury resulting from gripping the sides of a cart. He was determined to protect himself and others from sustaining similar injuries.
“I suffered an injury to my hand and while I was off I was determined to come up with a solution that would assure this wouldn't happen to any of my friends or coworkers again,” Hanvey said. “With the development of the Push Pal no one ever has to touch a cart again.”
According to Fusion Tech, a custom metal fabricator for the food industry, smokehouse carts are currently equipped with permanent welded handles, but they only partially protect workers and are not height adjustable.
“Smokehouse carts are currently designed with product in mind, rather than worker safety,” said a statement from Fusion Tech.
Currently used in processing plants in five states, the PushPal features two round bar handles that keep operators’ hands in a safe position while offering ergonomic benefits to workers tasked with moving carts loaded with products and eliminating cross contamination.
“The Push Pal gives operators added stability and something to grasp in case of a slip or fall. By keeping operators upright and creating space between the operator and the cart you gain better visibility when maneuvering through the plant,” according to FusionTech.
PushPal costs $350 each or $300 for multiple units.